This is something I've always wondered and I posted already on this subject a few years ago, so I guess it's time to restart the topic. Originally when the game came out there was only one land (what is now known as Felucca) and most people were still using dial-up, the lag was already hard even if not connecting from the other side of the world. So in their wisdom the conceptors of the first MMORPG that was UO decided to split the world into several server sets and to give some sense to it all it even became a major part of the scenario: Sosaria was split into parallel worlds, the Shards, and the long term goal of the game lead by Lord British was to reunite the shards. Obviously the developpers knew that in the future both the technology and the land mass ingame would allow for shards to be reunited, at least progressively. Yet this never happened and no one has ever spoken about it officially. I suspect the cost of running the hardware has lowered to the point where they would maybe not save a lot by closing shards, especially since the GMs are already shared between them, and maybe they are afraid that people would think that merging some shards would be a sign of decline. Yet we now have 6 facets so on most shards the population is so diluted that the feeling is actually worse. At this point in time, what is the point of keeping so many shards open, especially in the same time zones?